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This page covers procedures for both Gander and Shanwick FIRs.

Before attempting to connect to any oceanic position all controllers, regardless of division of origin, must complete oceanic training which is offered by the Shanwick/Gander FIR. Upon completion of this training the controller is rated to work both Gander and Shanwick positions. It is important to understand that staff of the XU Division have full jurisdiction over both FIRs, and their instructions should be complied with.

To Request Oceanic Training you should visit this webpage: http://occ.ivao.aero/trainingrequest.php[[1]]


Purpose

This page establishes standard procedures for the control of the North Atlantic MNPS airspace by Gander OCC and Shanwick OCC including coordination and transfer of control of flights and delegation of airspace between the two units.


Description of Airspace and Sectors

The Gander and Shanwick OCC are each responsible for half of the north Atlantic MNPS airspace (border is at 30W°). Both OCAs have been divided into various sectors to optimise traffic management and controller workload.

Sector Frequency Identifier Code
Shanwick/Gander Master Position 127.900 (12790.0 kHz) EGGX_SG_CTR ORS
Shanwick Oceanic Clearance 127.650/123.950 MHz EGGX_OC_CTR OCD
Shanwick Northern Tracks 120.350 (12035.0 kHz) EGGX_N_CTR ORN
Shanwick Southern Tracks 124.175 (12417.5 kHz) EGGX_S_CTR ORS
Gander Oceanic Clearance 128.450/135.450 MHz CZQX_OC_CTR OC
Gander North Tracks 126.900 (12690.0 kHz) CZQX_N_CTR FSS-N
Gander South Tracks 122.370 (12237.0 kHz) CZQX_S_CTR FSS-S
Gander West Tracks 127.100 (12710.0 kHz) CZQX_W_CTR FSS-W

The first position to be opened is always Shanwick/Gander FSS (EGGX_SG_CTR), followed by Shanwick FSS (EGGX_S_CTR) or Gander FSS (CZQX_S_CTR). Agree with EGGX_SG_CTR which position SG prefers. Prior permission required for Gander FSS (CZQX_W_CTR) by ATC Ops Staff.

Airspace Diagram:

OCC Diagram.png


Oceanic Control Procedures

Description of Position

The OCC position is responsible for maintaining required separation within the Oceanic Control area by using the position reports relayed by FSS. OCC shall also approve/deny all requests for altitude and/or speed changes as relayed by FSS. IvAc shall only be used to communicate via text to other pilots and controllers.

The OCC shall process and approve all oceanic clearances. ORCA may be used in lieu of voice. ORCA procedures are located in section 7.

There are two (2) Oceanic Control Centres. One located in Gander and one Located in Prestwick. See sections 5 and 6 respectively for unit-specific procedures.


Oceanic Clearance

Flights planned through Oceanic airspace must obtain a separate Oceanic Clearance. The request is made between 30 and 90 minutes prior to the ETA of the Oceanic Entry point (via Voice or Datalink). It is the responsibility of the Oceanic Controller to ensure that all aircraft enter oceanic airspace properly spaced and remain spaced throughout the crossing.

Note: A time limitation is only given if the aircraft's ETA at the NAT needs to be altered. In the below example BAW188 was cleared via the requested route. If this isn't the case the route would be modified. (It's a good idea to let the pilot know if this is the case before issuing the clearance so you won't have to repeat it because the pilot wasn't properly prepared)

Before issuing clearance the controller shall insert the flight into ORCA and confirm positive spacing exists and will be maintained throughout the crossing. It is the OCC controller’s responsibility to co-ordinate routing and/or altitude changes with domestic units.

Actual clearance to change course and/or altitude will always be given by the domestic unit. It is not necessary to pass entry times as the domestic units have a dedicated monitor.


Clearance Phraseology

  • Pilot: "Good evening Gander Center, Speedbird 188”
  • ATC: "Speedbird 188, Gander Center, Good evening pass your message"
  • Pilot: "Speedbird 188 requesting clearance to London Heathrow via track WHISKEY, Flight Level 380, Mach .83. Estimating COLOR at 0246 zulu. TMI068"
  • ATC: "Speedbird 188 cleared to London Heathrow, Track WHISKEY, FL380, Mach .83, cross VIXUN latest at 0248 zulu"
  • Pilot: "Speedbird 188 cleared to London Heathrow, Track WHISKEY, FL380, Mach .83, crossing VIXUN latest at 0248 zulu,"
  • ATC: "Speedbird 188, your readback is correct, return to previous frequency."

  • Separation

    Vertical

    Minimum vertical separation within MNPS airspace is 1,000 feet up to and including FL410, and 2,000 feet above that. Supersonic flights require 4,000 feet vertical separation from all other traffic if no other form of separation exists. This applies at any level for aircraft at supersonic speeds.


    Lateral

    Minimum lateral separation is sixty (60) Nautical Miles. Parallel tracks which are spaced apart by one (1) degree, and which change latitude by no more than two (2) degrees over a longitude of ten (10) degrees are deemed to be separated.

    NATs are normally defined so that they do not change latitude by more than 2 degrees for each 10 degrees longitude difference thereby ensuring separation.

  • Example: tracks from 50N020W to 52N030W and 49N020W to 51N030W are separated. 52N010W to 55N020W and 51N010W to 54N020W are not separated.

  • Longitudinal

    Minimum longitudinal separation for aircraft on the same track is ten (10) minutes flying time.

    Aircraft on crossing tracks at the same level must be fifteen (15) minutes apart at the point where their tracks cross.

  • Example: An aircraft passing 49N040W at FL380 must not be followed by another at the same level on the same track until ten minutes have elapsed after the first one passed that point.

  • Speed Differences

    Aircraft with different speeds on the same track/FL will gradually get closer or further apart. It is imperative to monitor this change of spacing closely for loss of separation. Aircrafts are requested to maintain the cleared speed given with the oceanic clearance.

    When calculating initial spacing use the following formula: Slow followed by fast: Add one (1) minute to the standard for every increase of 0.01 Mach number of the second aircraft.

  • Example: M0.80 followed by M0.84 requires FOURTEEN minutes at ocean entry same track same level.
  • Fast followed by slow. Subtract one (1) minute from the standard for every decrease of 0.02 Mach number of the second aircraft. The minimum is 5 minutes at Oceanic entry.

  • Example: M0.84 followed by M0.80 requires a minimum of EIGHT minutes separation at ocean entry same track same level.
  • If two aircraft at different speeds are entering Oceanic Airspace at the same point but following tracks which will be separated by no less than sixty (60) nautical miles, or ten (10) degrees of longitude after entry the increase above is not required. The reduction above may still be applied. If this situation occurs inside Oceanic Airspace (as opposed to at entry) then they are considered to be on crossing tracks and the fifteen (15) minute rule applies. There is no reduction to the fifteen minute rule for fast followed by slow on crossing tracks.


    Opposite Direction

    The following is included in order to determine the separation requirement for aircraft wishing to climb/descend through the level of another aircraft opposite direction, whether on the same track or crossing tracks opposite direction.

    Vertical separation must be established by a position calculated to be thirty (30) minutes flying time before the position/time at which it is estimated that they will pass one another, and must continue to exist until 30 minutes after they are estimated to have passed. If it can be positively established that they have passed, by both having reported passing the same Oceanic Reporting Point then the separation may be reduced to 10 minutes after they are known to have passed each other.

  • Example: Two aircrafts, A: routing 55N010W 56N020W 57N030W estimates 56N020W at 1234Z and 57N030W at 1304Z B: routing 56N030W 56N020W 56N010W. estimates 56N030W at 1224Z and 56N020W at 1254Z. Inspection and calculation indicates that they will both be approximately one third of the way from 20W to 30W (or two thirds of the way from 30W to 20W) at approximately the same time (1244Z). So vertical separation must exist from 1214Z until 1314Z. Once (B) has reported coordinate 20W the pass will have been established and one or other may climb/descend through the other aircraft's level after 1304 (ten minutes after they are known to have passed).

  • Communication with Aircraft

    Communication with aircraft over the North Atlantic shall be made by relay through the FSS stations.


    Oceanic Radio Procedures

    Description of Position

    The FSS position is responsible for relaying communications between the OCC and aircraft over the North Atlantic, as well as entering position updates into the OCMS. Up to three flight service specialists may work as Gander FSS. The area of coverage for each sector will depend on actual traffic, and shall be decided by the FSS supervisor , S sector (or the EGGX-Staff) Typically N serves traffic north of 50W, S serves traffic south of 50W and W traffc west from 50W onwards.


    Frequencies

    All communications take place HF frequencies. As the current pilot/controller software doesn’t support HF frequencies a modified decimal system has been arranged where the frequency 12237 kHz is entered as 122.37 in IvAc. Phaseology for the said frequency remains “one two two three seven kilohertz”


    SELCAL

    SELCAL shall be used whenever aircraft are equipped. On initial call-up SELCAL should be verified. Subsequent communications shall always be initiated with a SELCAL signal. To transmit a SELCAL signal enter .selcal [callsign] in the IvAc comm. box and transmit. If the SELCAL check fails the aircraft should be advised to monitor the frequency continuously.


    Position Reports

    Aircraft will transmit position reports to Gander or/and Shanwick FSS at each waypoint along their route, or every 45 minutes, whichever is shorter. Upon receiving the report Gander FSS or/and Shanwick FSS shall enter the estimate time as well as any remarks/requests into the OCMS flight strip.

    If any portion of the aircraft’s transmission is unreadable, or if parts are omitted reconfirm with the aircraft before reading back the position report.


    Position Report Phraseology

  • Pilot: "Gander Radio, Speedbird 188 with a position report”
  • ATC: "Speedbird 188, Gander Radio pass your message"
  • Pilot: "Speedbird 188, passed 47 North 50 West at 0246Z, Flight Level 380, Mach .83. Estimating 49 North 40 West at 0329Z, Next is 51 North 30 West"
  • ATC: "Speedbird 188, Gander Radio. Passed 47 North 50 West at 0246Z, Flight Level 380, Mach .83, Estimating 49 North 40 West at 0329Z, Next is 51 North 30 West"
  • Pilot: "Speedbird 188, readback correct "

  • Relay of Requests

    Aircraft will make all requests on FSS frequencies. These shall be relayed to the OCC controller:

  • By entering the request in the remarks field of the flight strip: RMK/REQ F350 1334z
  • When more urgent, or if no reply received within five (5) minutes via intercom.

  • Gander Specific Procedures

    Intercom

    Aircraft when issuing instructions or clearances always preface with “ATC clears” or “ATC instructs” as appropriate. Refer to the Canadian Phraseology guide, for complete intercom procedures.


    Sectors

  • 1 Controller: FSS-S shall be open. FSS-W and FSS-N shall be delegated to FSS-S. FSS-S shall assume the duties of OC.
  • 2 Controllers: FSS-S and OC shall be open. FSS-W and FSS-N shall be delegated to FSS-S.
  • 3 Controllers: FSS-N, FSS-S and OC shall be open. FSS-W shall be split between FSS-N and FSS-S.
  • 4 Controllers: FSS-N, FSS-S, FSS-W and OC shall be open.

  • Shanwick Specific Procedures

    Airspace Allocation

    Sections of the Shanwick FIR are allocated to Shannon ACC and Brest ACC. The areas are designated SOTA (Shannon Oceanic Transition Area) and BOTA (Brest Oceanic Transition Area), respectively aircraft within these sectors are handled by the relevant domestic ATC authority.

    Oceanic Transition Areas:

    OTA.png


    ORCA

    Aircraft requesting Oceanic clearance via ORCA (see paragraph 7) are not required to conact Shanwick on RTF.


    BOTA

    Flights via..

  • UN480 routing REGHI <-> ETIKI
  • UN420 routing LAPEX <-> SEPAL
  • UN460 routing RIVAX <-> SIVIR
  • …will enter the BOTA.


    SOTA

    Flights via..

  • UN491 routing GUNSO <-> BEDRA
  • UL739 routing KENUK <-> SOMAX
  • UN514 routing GIPER <-> DINIM
  • …will enter the SOTA.


    NOTA

    Flights via..

  • UN542 routing BABAN <-> VENER
  • UP618 routing BABAN <->RESNO
  • UN551 routing NIBOG <-> ODLUM <-> RESNO
  • UM17 routing DEXET <-> ODLUM <-> ETARI
  • UN551 routing NIBOG <-> ODLUM <->ETARI
  • UM17 routing DEXET <-> ODLUM <-> PIKIL
  • UN563 routing MIMKU <-> ELPIN <-> PIKIL
  • UP736 routing ELPIN <-> BILTO
  • UN550 routing NIBOG <-> ELPIN <-> SUNOT
  • UP979 routing DEVOL <-> DEXET <-> ELPIN <-> OSBOX <-> AGORI
  • UN572 routing GOMUP <-> AGORI <-> SUNOT
  • …will enter the NOTA.


    Bandboxing

    When staffing the sectors shall be consolidated as follows:

  • 1 Controller: ORS shall be open. ORN shall be delegated to ORS. In addition ORS shall assume the duties of OCD.
  • 2 Controllers: ORS and OCD shall be open. ORN shall be delegated to ORS.
  • 3 Controllers: ORS, ORN and OCD shall be open.

  • Datalink Oceanic Route Clearance Authorisation (ORCA)

    Overview

    Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) equipped arcraft may request and receive their Oceanic clearance via datalink, utilising the Oceanic Route Clearance Authorisation system (ORCA). This system should not be used by aircraft within 30 minutes of entry to Oceanic airspace; RTF should then be used.


    Usage

    Aircraft will request clearance using the web-based FMC, following the included instructions. When a clearance request is made a flight-strip will appear in the Pending bay on the ORCA ATC page. The flight should be checked for conflict with the aircraft in the relevant FL/Track section on the Cleared bay. If required, the FL, ETA or track can be changed before clearing the aircraft. Alternatively, ATC can request negotiation with the flight by pressing the DENY button. The pilot will then receive a message requesting radio contact.

    Aircraft in the Cleared bay can have their details changed by clicking on the callsign.


    Coordination

    With Domestic Units

    Sector Westbound Eastbound
    Scottish Control Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. Scottish Control is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly. A coordination message should be sent to Scottish around 5 Minutes prior to reaching the exitpoint quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination.
    EGPX_WS_CTR
    127.275 MHz
    ATSIX, BALIX, ERAKA, GOMUP+NOTA when Shannon offline
    Shannon Control Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. Shannon Control is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly.This means for most Ireland departures that they need to contact Shanwick after obtaining their IFR clearance well before takeoff. A coordination message should be sent to Shannon around 5 Minutes prior to reaching,the exitpoint quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination.
    EISN_CTR
    131.150 MHz
    DOGAL, NEBIN, MALOT, TOBOR, LIMRI, ADARA, DINIM+ NOTA+SOTA
    London Control Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. London Control is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly. A coordination message should be sent to London around 5 Minutes prior to reaching the exit point quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination.
    EGTT_10_CTR
    128.125 MHz
    LESLU, GAPLI, TURLU, RATKA+SOTA when Shannon offline
    Special airway T9, LASNO to BEGAS:Please note that this airway is oceanic when Brest is offline, therefore aircraft should be contacted and a clearance issued.
    Madrid Control Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. Madrid Control is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly. A coordination message should be sent to Madrid around 5 Minutes prior to reaching,the exitpoint quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination.
    LECM_NW_CTR
    135.700 MHz
    PASAS, PITAX, BERUX, DIXIS, BEGAS
    Montreal Center A coordination message should be sent to Montreal around 5 Minutes prior to reaching,the exitpoint quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination. Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. Montreal is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly, or obtain the clearance on the pilots behalf.
    CZUL_DD_CTR
    133.220 MHz
    MUSVA, KAGLY, KENKI, NALDI, BERUS, TANTI, GRIBS, VIMLA, MIBNO, TAPLU, PEPKI, KENRI, IKMAN, VIBID
    Gander Domestic A coordination message should be sent to Gander around 5 Minutes prior to reaching,the exitpoint quoting Level, Speed, ETA for the point and destination. Oceanic clearances must be obtained by the latest 30 Minutes prior to entrypoint. Gander is therefore to release aircraft to meet that deadline accordingly, or obtain the clearance on the pilots behalf.
    CZQX_GN_CTR
    124.175 MHz
    MOATT, PRAWN, PORGY, LOACH, SCROD, OYSTR, CARPE, HECKK, CRONO, DENDU, KOBEV, LOGSU, NOVEP, RONPO, URTAK, VODOR


    With Oceanic Units

    Sector Coordination
    Santa Maria Oceanic
    LPPO_OC_CTR
    12790.0 kHz
    Handoffs to and from Santa Maria should be coordinated on an individual basis as the majority of flights will be on random tracks.Ideally transfer of communications should occur on the 45th Parallel.
    Caution: When Santa Maria comes online, Shanwick radio must relinquish the normal frequency and switch to the backup frequency, i.e. 120.35.
    New York Oceanic
    KZWY_E_FSS
    122.120
    Handoffs to and from New York should be coordinated on an individual basis as the majority of flights will be on random tracks.Ideally transfer of communications should occur on the 44th Parallel.
    Reykjavik Control
    BIRD_CTR
    119.700
    Handoffs to and from Reykjavik should be coordinated on an individual basis as the majority of flights will be on random tracks.Ideally transfer of communications should occur on 61°N and/or 30°West.

    ATIS

    When controlling Oceanic please use this ATIS:

    Serving Shanwick and Gander/ Datalink in use/ Clearance to be obtained NO LATER than 30 Mins prior to Entry/ Position reports mandatory and to include: Callsign, Waypoint, Time, FL, Mach, NAME+ETA of next waypoint/ Name ONLY of waypoint thereafter/ For further Info please consult occ.ivao.aero

    Remember to remove the phrase "Serving Shanwick and Gander" when another controller logs in on Gander.


    Trackwise

    If you are interested in the real procedures and workflow the video below might be what you are looking for:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJTjwW5ZYas